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I don’t think about pastries very much anymore. As a Celiac, I tend to pass by bakeries with a healthy bit of trepidation, readily observing my self-imposed “10 foot rule.” However, that doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten!
In my former life, I baked often. I grew up with my grandmother living just a “hop, skip, and a jump” from my own front door and spent many afternoons in her kitchen learning to make every variety of baked treat, from peanut butter cookies to gorgeous lemon meringune pies. My mom also encouraged a lot of baking (as the mother of four kids, I’m sure she welcomed the break from kitchen duties). I left home and headed into the adult world with drop biscuits, coffee cakes, and apple pies (to name a few) all well-established in my kitchen repertoire. The book I was taught from was a very well-worn vintage copy of Better Homes and Gardens 1965 Gold Souvenir Edition of their best-selling cookbook (you can catch a glimpse of it in the photo above).
Guess what? I still have that cookbook and as the distance from my Celiac diagnosis has grown, I’ve started to fondly recall that book more often and been inspired to experiment. That is how this recipe was born. I sat one afternoon looking at the basic pastry recipe and decided to learn how to make a gluten-free tart crust I could savor on special occasions. Mother’s Day, with my mom and grandma inspiring me still, seemed like the perfect occasion. Here’s to the special women who have taught us many useful skills and provided the old memories that spark new celebrations!
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
- Place flour and lard in food processor. Pulse until crumbs form.
- Add water and maple syrup, pulse until a ball forms.
- Place four small tart pans on a baking sheet. Divide dough into four balls.
- Use fingers or a tart tamper to mold dough into tart pans. Prick dough all over with fork.
- Bake for 12 minutes. Remove and allow to cool completely.
- While tart shells are baking, peel and chop one small sweet potato. Boil until fork tender, about 10 minutes. Drain.
- Place all ingredients, except gelatin and water, in food processor. Process on high for 30 seconds.
- Place gelatin in a shallow dish, pour boiling water over and stir until gelatin is completely dissolved.
- Pour gelatin into filling mixture and process on high for 30 more seconds.
- Pour filling into cooled tart shells. Place into refrigerator to set.
- While filling is setting, combine all ingredients in small sauce pan. Bring to a rapid boil, stirring occasionally.
- Let boil for 20 minutes or until mixture has the consistency of caramel sauce and then allow to cool in refrigerator for 10 minutes.
- Take tarts out, drizzle with caramel, and sprinkle with sea salt.
The caramel drizzle is based on a caramel recipe by Jenni Hulet of The Urban Poser.